Panthers, Bolts may show interest in Ottawa blueliner Jakob Chychrun

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There will be no shortage of options on the table for the Ottawa Senators with the National Hockey League trade deadline set for Friday at 3 p.m. EST.

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Could Jakob Chychrun go from California Dreamin’ to the Sunshine State? Anything is possible at this time of year.

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That will only happen if Steve Staios, the club’s president of hockey operations and general manager, makes a decision he wants to trade the 25-year-old Chychrun because the Senators have an offer they can’t refuse and it’s fair to say the club isn’t in any hurry to make a trade on that front.

As the Senators went for a twirl at the Honda Center on Tuesday to prepare for Wednesday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks, Staios continued to work the phones with the deadline looming large.

The organization’s goal at this deadline isn’t to make short-term gains — the Senators want get pieces in place they feel will help them make the next step to return to the playoffs and to compete for a Stanley Cup.

There is a belief in league circles is that if the Florida Panthers or Tampa Bay Lightning fail in their attempts to acquire defenceman Noah Hanifin of the Calgary Flames in the coming days, they could step up their efforts to make a deal for Chychrun from the Senators.

Acquired last March from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick, a conditional second-round pick in this draft and a second-round selection in 2026 by former GM Pierre Dorion, Chychrun’s name surfaced last month.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Monday the activity on Chychrun has increased in the last couple of days but stated “that doesn’t mean there’s a deal to be made.”

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That won’t stop teams from asking and, just for good measure, Chychrun moved to No. 5 on TSN’s Trade Bait board.

While Staios hasn’t been actively trying to deal Chychrun, his name come out because some teams headed for the post-season value the fact he could be part of two playoff runs and reached out to the Senators to try to see what the club would expect in return.

The Senators acquired him last spring when they were only three points out of the post-season because they felt he could be a valuable asset for a playoff push for three years. This season has gone completely off the rails and now Staios is studying all his options.

The 25-year-old Chychrun, who has one season left on a deal that carries a cap hit of $4.6 million US, is making $7 million in real cash next year and has a $1-million signing bonus due on July 1, 2024.

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He has nine goals and 31 points in 59 games this season with Ottawa, but is ranked second-last on the Senators with a plus/minus rating of minus-15, which also is worst amongst the club’s defencemen.

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Naturally, interest from the Panthers make some sense. Chychrun’s father Jeff, a former NHLer, is a colour analyst on the Florida broadcast team, the family makes its home in the area and Chychrun grew up there.

A league executive told Postmedia on Tuesday that the Senators likely would want a first-round pick and more in return for Chychrun, but you would think the asking price would at least include someone who can take up the valuable minutes he plays.

That’s why the best bet for the Senators may be able to wait until the summer to determine what’s next for Chychrun. He could be a valuable asset the club could move during the off-season and that might get them a better return.

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“They would have to try to maximize the return,” a league executive said Tuesday. “No playoff-bound team is going to have an extra defenceman.”


Help is on the way as the Senators begin this back-to-back series against Anaheim that will continue Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings at the Arena.

Captain Brady Tkachuk, who missed the club’s 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night to start this trip, was back on the ice in Anaheim and he’ll suit up against the Ducks.

“I feel good,” Tkachuk told TSN 1200’s Gord Wilson. “It was nice to have a couple of days to regroup and refresh. It sucks not playing for sure. I wanted to make sure I was ready to go (tonight).”

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Goaltenders Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg, who both missed the game in Philly with the flu and an undisclosed injury, respectively, rejoined the Senators.

According to TSN 1200’s Dean Brown, Korpisalo and Forsberg handled most of the duties in the first half of the skate while Belleville callup Mads Sogaard participated in much of the second portion.

The Senators recalled forward Rourke Chartier from Belleville on Tuesday and he’ll suit up against the Ducks. He’ll take the spot left vacant by the injury to winger Zack MacEwen, who left the game in Philly.

“We had a good practice and, hopefully, we come out tomorrow with lots of energy,” interim head coach Jacques Martin said.

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